TYPES may be classified into four major categories.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), female genital mutilation may be
classified into four major categories. The first type is called clitoridectomy. It involves the total
or partial removal of the clitoris (a sensitive, small and erectile part of the female genitals), and
in rare cases only the prepuce, that is, the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris. The second form
of female genital cutting is referred to as excision. This type involves the total or partial removal
of the clitoris and the labia minora, that is, the inner fold of the vulva. The third type is referred
to as infibulation. This form of female genital cutting encompasses the narrowing of the opening
of the vagina by creating a covering seal, which is created by cutting and repositioning the labia
majora or labia minora, sometimes via stitching, with or without removing the clitoris. The last
type includes all the other harmful procedures to the genital organs of a female for reasons that
are not medical, including cauterizing the genital area, scraping, incising, piercing, and pricking
(Cappa, Claudia, Moneti, Wardlaw, and Bissell, 2013, 1087).
Despite the belief that female genital mutilation has health benefits, research has shown
that the practice does not have any health benefit. Essentially, the practice harms women and
girls in several ways. It encompasses removing and damaging normal and healthy female genital
tissues, and disturbs the natural functions of a woman or girl’s body. The risks of the procedure
rise with the increase in the severity of the procedure. However, the effects may be either
immediate or long-term consequences (Eisold, 2016, 280).
When the practice is performed with rudimentary methods and no anesthesia, the
immediate effects may include severe pain, hemorrhage, swelling of the genital tissues, fever,
infections, urinary problems, shock, wound healing challenges, and even death. In Kenya, for
instance, Patrick Ngigi, who operates a haven for girls, says that there are some instances where
participants die due to excessive bleeding. He adds that the perpetrators are not qualified
physicians: they are just village women. Consequently, they lack the skills of knowing how to
stop the bleeding emanating from the cut, and at times, the initiates end up losing their lives
(Patra, Shraboni, and Rakesh, 2015, 49).
Additionally, Female genital cutting has various long-term consequences to the initiates.
Improper healing and tissue damage caused by the rudimentary cutting techniques lead to several
complications. The participants may suffer from chronic vulva pain due to unprotected or
trapped nerve endings. Keloid scars, common among individuals from African descent, come
about due to persistent overgrowth of dense fibrous tissue after the healing of a wound. There
have been reports of many cases of clitoral epidermal inclusion cysts. Cysts stigmatize socially
especially when they affect sitting or walking or when the spouse is aware of them (Eisold, 2016,
Furthermore, female genital mutilation causes urological effects. Any form of cutting
may lead to the damage of the urethra. Infibulation leads to slow, painful micturition; recurrent
urinary tract infections; urinary retention; and dribbling of urinary incontinence. Also, women
who undergo infibulation face increased instances of dysmenorrhea as a result of congestion
emanating from obstructed menstrual flow. In many instances, victims of this practice do not
understand the cause of their problems, unless they receive insights about the practice from a
healthcare professional or an educational program (Eisold, 2016, 286).
Additionally, female genital mutilation is associated with obstetric and perinatal
complications. In a 2006 study funded by the World Health Organization, 28,393 individuals
from twenty-eight obstetric centers in Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Burkina Faso
were examined. The study revealed that circumcised women faced a higher risk for low birth
weight, early neonatal death or still birth, infant resuscitation, extended maternal hospital stay,
postpartum hemorrhage, and caesarian section. The rise in the risk of the aforementioned cases
increased with the extent of the cut: women who had infibulation (type III cut) had a risk rate of
69% for postpartum hemorrhage, a 55% increased risk of neonatal death or still birth, a 66%
increased risk of needing infant resuscitation, and a 98% increased risk of prolonged hospital
stay (Farage, Miller, Ghebre, Tzeghai, Azuka, Sobel, and William, 2015, 83).
Similarly, Female genital cutting affects women’s sexual health. Research found on the
sexual health of women who have been circumcised differ in methodology, place, types and
quality of the cutting, making substantive conclusions hard. A meta-analysis of seventeen
comparative studies of uncut and cut women, involving 12,755 women, concluded that there was
insufficient evidence from which to draw conclusions regarding the social and psychological
effects of the practice. The study suggested that circumcised women are most likely to encounter
pain during sex, low sexual desire, and low sexual satisfaction, but the evidence quality was
believed to be too low to be used to conclude that there is a causal relationship with female
genital mutilation (Farage, Miller, Ghebre, Tzeghai, Azuka, Sobel, and William, 2015, 85).



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